The following advice is probably the most important thing that I can impart to you.
1. Use only filtered water. If you can remove the metals and the chlorine from the water, you have already taken a great step in making a better cup of coffee.
2. Next step. Take some time, effort and money and purchase and gold coffee filter. Melitta and several others sell them. I bought mine at Cost Plus but I am sure they can be found nearly everywhere. Paper filters remove the oils and with it the flavor of a lot of the coffee. Plus you are throwing one less thing into the trash with each pot you make.
3. Grind your own beans. Canned or pre-ground coffees lose their flavors very quickly. In the course of several hours your fresh coffee will be nearly flavor less. Buy fresh Arabica beans. Stay away from the name brand ground coffees, as they are a blend of Arabica (flavor) and Robusta (cheap) coffees.
4. Use a decent coffee maker!. Don’t skimp on the coffee maker. Make sure the water is heated to degrees and the warming pad won’t cook the coffee after it sits for more than about 20 minutes. Braun and Black and Decker both make great coffee makers that are recommended by Cooks magazine and Consumer Reports.
5. If you have gotten to this point, you are ready for the next step, roasting your own green beans. Unroasted coffee beans can last for a couple of years. They are half the price of roasted beans. And for the cost of an investment in a coffee maker (about $79.00 or so) you can have the absolutely freshest cup of coffee that you can imagine.
Roast, grind, brew, enjoy.
There are other tips for the more advanced. Store brewed coffee in a carafe or thermos to keep it from cooking on coffee maker burner.
Try using a French press for an intense cup of Joe. (Their only draw back is that often they make only two or three cups at a time, are hard to keep it warm and if the boiling water is too hot you may have ruined the roast before you even get a chance to taste it.)
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